Day 5 of the 2012 FIBA U17 Championships

Mario Herzonja and the Croatians continue unperturbed in
their FIBA U17 Worlds campaign.

Croatia claimed top honors in Group B of the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship by beating Spain to remain undefeated and were joined into the quarterfinals by the Spaniards as well as Canada and Argentina, who eliminated the hosts Lithuania.

Mario Hezonja collected 30 points, 6 rebounds and 5 steals and Karlo Zganec had 15 points and 8 rebounds as Croatia held off Spain ,73-68, to finish atop Group B at 5-0.

The duo combined for a three-pointer, 4 of 4 free throws and a key defensive steal in the final 39 seconds to seal the victory.

As Group B winners, Croatia will take on Czech Republic in Friday's quarterfinals.

Spain fell to 3-2 despite 29 points, 19 rebounds and 4 blocks by Ilimane Diop. The Iberians finished second in the group and will take on China in the Final Eight. They will, however, be without Agusti Sans for that game after he was suspended for kicking a bottle after the final whistle.

Argentina grabbed third place in the group and improved to 3-2 by knocking off hosts Lithuania, 92-82, thanks to 26 points from Gabriel Deck and 20 points from Rodrigo Haag.

Lithuania took fifth place in the group at 1-4 despite 23 points and 9 rebounds from Edvinas Seskus and 18 points from Ernestas Serkevicius.

“It’s a tough loss again. There are plenty of reasons, but the players left their hearts on the court,” said Lithuania coach Paulius Juodis, whose team played three overtime games and lost two of them.

“We knew where we were in Europe last year [13th place at FIBA Europe U16 Championship], so it’s pleasing to see that we can play as equals with teams like Croatia and Spain.”

Canada was also 3-2 and secured fourth place – and a date in the quarters against reigning champions United States – with an 82-61 victory over Korea, who finished last with a 0-5 record.

Malcom Duvivier led Canada with 16 points, while Justin Jackson collected 10 points and 13 rebounds. 

Kim Gook Chan’s 21 points were not enough for Korea.

Malcolm Duvivier led the Canadians to the quarters
past the the Koreans.
Gabriel Deck spearheaded Argentina's third place finish
in Group B action.

The United States continued their march to repeating as champions by blasting past China to remain undefeated at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship, while Australia beat France and Czech Republic held off Egypt for the final spot in Friday's quarterfinals.

Conner Frankamp paced seven players in double figures with 17 points while Justice Winslow (12 points and 12 rebounds) and BeeJay Anya (13 points and 10 rebounds) both had double-doubles in a 116-47 victory by the USA over China.

The Americans finished perfect in Group A with a 5-0 record and an average winning margin of 50.8 points. They will next square off in the quarterfinals against Canada.

The Chinese registered the third fewest points in a U17 Worlds men’s competition and finished third in Group A at 3-2. Heng Yi Feng and Yang Lin Yi both scored nine points for China, who in the quarters will take on Spain.

Australia actually did the Americans one better in holding France to a 64-42 victory – with only Germany’s 33 points against Poland at the 2010 U17 Worlds fewer points allowed thus far in competition history.

“We played very good defense. I was really pleased that all our players got to play decent minutes,” said Australia coach Guy Molloy.

“We wanted to try to rest our key players.”

With top stars Dante Exum and Ben Simmons going scoreless in less than 8 combined minutes of action, Fabijan Krslovic scored 13 points and Felix Kalau von Hofe added 11 points for Australia, who took second place at 4-1 and will face Argentina in the quarters.

France had already been eliminated from the final eight before the game and dropped to 1-4. Paul Rigot was France’s leading scorer with 11 points.

The fourth team from Group A was the Czech Republic, who beat Egypt, 78-70, to improve to 2-3 as Martin Peterka scored 21 points and Radovan Kouril had 12 points, 4 rebounds, 12 assists and 4 steals.

Soliman Sayed, Walid Aly and Omar Abdeen all scored 12 points for Egypt, who dropped to 0-5 in last place.

Fabijan Krslovic puts in an easy two as
the Aussies hand the French their fourth defeat.
Martin Peterka and the Czechs stood
tall against the hapless Egyptians.
Justice Winslow does a Kevin Durant as Team USA
dumps China.

Source: All images and recaps are from

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